Who are others who are doing this kind of work?
I can't fault you for reading them as smug, and some of them objectively are, but the intended messaging is not making light of how many Windows security vulnerabilities happen, but of how much time is spent going in circles around non-vulnerabilities when teams could be better spent dealing with real ones.
He did an incredibly thorough nine-part series on the history of Windows from DOS through 3.1 and the antitrust cases. It was fascinating. There's tons of other stuff here too.
"New Tricks For An Old Z-Machine" was great too!
And you will read it like you don't know how it's gonna end. Because that's how things happened.
(Really appreciate Patrick Collison and Stripe Press for re-publishing it)
For example, the book "Commodore: A Company on the Edge" chronicles quite a bit of Commodore lore, and there are numerous resources for both Amiga and C64 online. Too many to mention, really, and lots of them are heavily specialized. CSDb for the C64 demo and cracking scene, for example.
I also recommend The Early History of Smalltalk by Alan Kay himself and Mark Ferrari's talk on creating pixel art for LucasArts games.
Disclosure: I work at Microsoft, on the Windows accessibility team. But I didn't join until a couple years after Windows 10's initial release.
Old: Expose the hardware in a highly compatible way for developers. Help the user do productive work with their applications.
Old basically remains in the same paradigm through WinXP. But starting around Vista the concept changes, and that accelerates with Win8.
New: Help the user shop and consume content. Protect them from malicious software.
And this consumer focus leads in turn towards aesthetics and "wow factor". But it's Vista's shift towards heavy security prompting that I see as the precipitating element in this. It's the change from "they know what they're doing" to "they don't know what they're doing", and the attempt to continually reinvent the same thing but "easier." The UI changes are more like a reflection of the broader trend of aping whatever smartphones do.
And one thing I will credit modern Windows for is this - running on contemporary hardware it's really stable and doesn't blow up easily. But it's like running two operating systems at once, and the newer one is mostly unnecessary.
Try changing the mouse pointer speed starting on Settings. Or for a bigger challenge, try finding the place to change which Desktop icons appear.
 Settings -> Devices -> Mouse -> Related settings [tiny text on the far right] -> Additional mouse options -> [opens old Control Panel mouse settings] -> Pointer Options -> Motion: Select a pointer speed.
 Right-click Desktop -> Personalise -> Themes [!?] -> Related Settings [tiny text on the far right] -> Desktop icon settings
All that's going to happen is we'll lose the control panel eventually, and get an inferior settings reimplementation instead.
That long scroll alone is really, really terrible.
Literally both are links on the right, both behave wildly differently.
Every. Single. Time. I get the bing link first.
Oh, thanks for that! I was looking for that recently and just gave up.
From Windows 95 to XP (and maybe Vista?) I could find that setting in 2 seconds.
Now? no chance.
Stone Age (1985): Windows is a single-user graphical shell for the PC that is necessarily very close to the hardware.
Bronze Age (1993): Windows NT is launched as a multi-user secure applications platform. Hardware access is no longer direct. This is sold almost exclusively to businesses.
Iron Age (late 90s): "Hardware" is no longer fixed at boot. Computers are no longer islands. Users expect TCP/IP networking built in. USB arrives round about Win95OSR2 and complicates everything. Security problems start to matter. Windows acquires a rounded, "friendly" skin and the cheerful rolling hills of the default background.
Steel Age (2006): the security problems become untenable. Downloading anything from the internet is extremely risky. A decision is made to kill the "stone age" line of compatibility; everything derives from NT now, and the normal logged in user is no longer "root" all the time. UAC appears to guard the user against malicious executables.
Tablet Age (2012): the iPad is eating their lunch. Microsoft panics. Having had a tablet OS for ages that never took off outside of niches (Windows CE), they decide that Windows will be relaunched as a tablet-first OS with everything written in C# using their new flat graphic design style. The 99% of desktop users are disoriented by the tablet-first design. Windows phones are launched, then the burning platform sinks below the waves again, taking Nokia with it. Pity, the Nokia Lumia 1040 was an amazing phone.
Missing Era: there is no Windows 9.
Final Form (present): Microsoft go to version 10 then promise to stay there forever. Updates are now continuous and rolling. They've mostly backed off the tablet interface .. but never really finished the modernisation.
(As a Windows developer, the extinction lines in the fossil record that stand out across all the APIs are "Vista" and to a lesser extent "8". 10 is a consolidation with a drip-feed of additional APIs.)
Future? Well, Unixisation is creeping in again along with a friendliness to Open Source. At some point they may deprecate CRLF and try to change the percieved default path character to '/'.
This is to avoid breaking software that checks whether the Windows version string starts with "9".
Of course, that didn't mean they needed to completely overhaul the desktop experience though.
Windows Mobile 10 was good, so was ability to develop for desktop, mobile and Xbox with one codebase. IMO Microsoft shut it down when it actually was becoming awesome.
Maybe Windows 10 ARM64 will still come back to phones though.
What are you thinking of? IOS? Android? GNOME? KDE? OSX?
Windows isn't perfect at this stuff, but it's honestly the best experience I've had with a 2 in 1 (Tablet with extra keyboard + touchpad). GNOME is close, but the UI arrangement is stupid (ok, it's worse on Windows, but I digress), pen right click doesn't work and the on screen keyboard is like from another universe (it also doesn't seem to be made for people with mice, but I digress again ...). On Windows I can set the keyboard to mini-mode (floats around in a small window) and slide on it with a pen, getting about the same input speed as when typing. It's quite amazing. It's just a shame that there's Windows around it.
Windows 10 hasn't bothered me enough in that regard to go digging for the settings to kill visual effects.
* displays multiple cpus better
* graphs autoscale, so the network utilization graph isn't stuck at showing everything in 1gbit scale
* multi process programs (eg. chrome) are grouped together, so it's easy to tell how much resources it's actuality using
* Adds graphs for disk usage and GPU usage (per GPU).
* Adds a few useful columns to the applications tab, including disk usage which wasn't possible even in details before.
* Applications tab has heatmap highlighting thing, which is a bit gimmicky but is actually useful.
If you work at MS, it would be cool to find the last person to push a change to that code base and ask them. Or maybe we can reply to the reddit post.
For apps that are well & truly borked, the new app-driven interface often fails in this for me. But it does let me right-click and "go to details" and kill it there, so it's still an improvement.
And with that in mind, I actually think the new one is better.
“TM is one of the apps I'm most proud of because it is probably the first app to ever be fully resizable in all dimensions without any flicker.”
Win32 didn’t have an automatic layout engine. Resizing meant drawing your content while new mouse events were firing rapidly. It was hard enough to do flicker-free that Microsoft preferred fixed dialogs where possible.
(To be fair, it’s not like resizing is a solved problem even in 2020. For example on macOS, brand new apps ported from iOS using the Catalyst runtime seem to have absolutely terrible resize performance.)
Talk about burying the lede!
I've seen stuff that taskmgr can't kill - I haven't ever seen it use any debugging privileges that I know of.
If you use psexec to run process explorer as system, then you can get into the access control list of these processes and add permission for administrator (or just kill them from there...)
Personally if I were killing with psexec I would try invoking taskkill.exe.
But my main point was (that I implied, but I didn't say) is yes, I remember killing off early versions of microsoft security essentials (when that was its name) with task manager too. Logically, back then the process didn't have a restricted ACL, but it now does.
I didn't actually know you could specify the system user when killing a process with taskkill, thanks
I use TM multiple times a day.
I miss the Vista/7 desktop widgets that you used to be able to use to keep an eye on this stuff without having TaskManager open.
Resource meter was to track resource usage.
Suspect we suffer the same brain fade and the task manager we remember was either windows 98 or XP type timeframes.
Wonder if he'd have made Explorer better.
Nice example of how to degrade gracefully instead of simply crashing the process. These days most programs seem to assume memory allocation never fails. Some GNU libraries kill the process in those cases!
Apparenly he first considered CTRL-ALT-ESC but rejected the idea because it would be too easy to accidentally press all three of those keys if somebody/something mashed the left-hand side of the keyboard, so he replaced ESC with somethin on the far right (DEL). His criteria were keys that that wouldn’t cause a character to print on the screen.
Seems like the implementer of Task Manager picked up wjere he left off and chose CTRL-ALT-ESC anyway. Whether it’s some kind of homage, a coincidence, similar thinking constrained by the three finger salute having already been taken, or something else, is anybody’s guess. I’d really like to know how he came up with that key combination (and whether he considered that it could be accidentally triggered more easily than CTRL-ALT-DEL though by this time BIOS calls could be intercepted thanks to 386 Enhanced Mode and therefore you wouldn’t simply instantly reboot your machine).
You can also reset it to defaults by pressing CTRL-ALT-SHIFT beforing clicking on its taskbar icon.
> There should be nothing that TaskMgr can't kill - it will even escalate privilege and (if you have it) enable debug privilege to attach to and kill apps that way if needed. If TM can't kill it, you've got a kernel problem.
I've run into so many programs I couldn't kill with the task manager that I doubt if this is still true. Just today my laptop was idle and overheating because two different antivirus programs and cortana were each hogging 33% of my CPU... I couldn't kill any of those processes.
Also, a lot of what AV software does goes through kernel. That's the only way to ensure that its work is not preempted and that it can maintain security of the system.
Space Cadet pinball was not written by Microsoft, according to Raymond Chen. 
However, the taskman OP didn’t necessarily say that he wrote Space Cadet pinball, he said he “wrote/ported Space Cadet pinball, zip folders, . . .” My money is on him porting SC pinball, not writing it
I am replying 14 minutes after you. Please explain.
Mod responds, "Though this could be construed as a PSA, and thus in violation of Rule 8, it's got a lot of valuable info that even I have never seen before. Therefore, I'm going to leave it. /u/daveplreddit , please message the mod team or myself before making any more such posts, and we can discuss how to best move forward."
Solid moderation to offer a way to keep contributing. Kudos.
The implication of his incredible knowledge makes his allowing the post by the author of Task Manager even more gracious! What a guy!